Do The Koch Bros Hate Everything That's Good For America?

I've got a question for you. I find this absolutely fascinating. Susan Crawford who wrote the books The Responsive City and Captive Audience, she's a professor at Harvard Law School and over at Wired magazine she's writing about the case of Louisville, Kentucky, or West Louisville specifically. She writes:

"Not only would West Louisville get a chance at better access for its homes and businesses, but the city could install fiber-controlled traffic signals, create better and cheaper connectivity for public-safety agencies, and ship data around inexpensively to improve its operations."

In other words, West Louisville is looking at doing what Chattanooga did, which is installing a municipal broadband infrastructure - having the city install high-speed fiber cable so that every business, every family, every person, every government office, every library has faster-than-a-greased-pig or pick your metaphor superfast internet capability. She writes:

"In a nutshell, the city would build the infrastructure and lease capacity to private internet-service providers. "We were looking at this as our smart city foundation," Grace Simrall, Louisville's chief of civic innovation, says."

And then a couple of special interest groups came along and started running ads and lobbying against it. Now, one of them, predictably, was the cable trade association in Kentucky. They were saying. "you know, come on, we're the cable trade association, you need to force people to get their internet from us. You know, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, we need to make money here, we need to pay our stockholders their billion dollars in dividends, we need to pay our CEO his multi million dollar salary; he's got another house in Switzerland he wants to buy."

But in addition to the the usual suspects - the cable trade association and their buddies - there was another group that was saying don't have public broadband in Louisville. And this group is called the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. Now, who is the Taxpayers Protection Alliance? For example, they tweeted out:

"Google suspended its fiber efforts in many cities due to cost - now wants Louisville taxpayers to foot the $5.4M bill."

Which is just a complete lie, right? The Louisville deal had nothing to do with Google. Or a lie by by deception, I guess. I am not sure exactly what you would call it. But why did Charles and David Koch who make their money on fossil fuels and Georgia-Pacific and everything else, why do they care that Louisville might be getting public broadband? Do they own a broadband company? Are they planning on buying Comcast or Verizon? Is that what's next? Or do they just like the idea of consolidating the public information space into a small number of very, very, very wealthy hands? I suspect the latter.

Meteor Blades who wrote this piece, the subhead for the photograph of the Koch brothers says:

"The Koch Brothers ought to call their operations The Wrecking Crew"

Susan Crawford said:

"The public benefits of jumping on the KentuckyWired offer would be substantial"

Right, you know, high-speed Internet is good for business. This is the freeway of the modern era. I mean, this is important stuff and the Koch brothers want it not to happen. What is it, anything that's good for America, they're opposed to? You know, if it's good for America in general and not just exclusively for the billionaire class?

Is that what it's come down to?

What do you think?


Legend 5 years 23 weeks ago

Meanwhile countries like South Korea consider internet to be part of the infrastructure and want the best infrastructure for its citizens. It is an infrastructure of education, Banking, finance, etc.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 23 weeks ago

The American people and the rest of the world are still reeling from the decisions made in the 2000s by the "Decider," an Air National Guard deserter. "The village idiot" of course had burned his brain out on alcohol and cocaine, but he still looks like a Mensa man compared to the seed of a simian flinging feces at innocent passersby from today's "offal" office.

If this charade continues unimpeded, thanks to the orange baboon's fellow subhuman cohorts in Congress, what will this failing democracy be like in another 18 years? Who here really believes it will be "great again?" The pie-in-the-sky economic paradise Republican propagandists are trying to sell us? The land of freedom and liberty and prosperity for the common folk who are not millionaires and billionaires?


Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 23 weeks ago

Our town, Westminster, MD is installing a fiber optic infrastructure system. It's over 50% complete. Speeds are 1gig up and down. Comcast and Verizon are the two incumbent suppliers. Comcasts response to our Fiber optic project is to install wireless internet terminals at strategic locations throughout the area. High speed internet is available to Comcast customers anywhere in the area via WiFi.

The citizens of Westminster are the winners. We have two excellent high speed ISP's from which to choose. (Verizon uses DSL and is pretty much out of the running). Ain't competition great.

By the way Westminster is about 100% Republican. Rather than bitch and complain about how unfair through ISP'S are. We went to work and fixed it.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 5 years 23 weeks ago

I agree with all you said here deepspace. What really perplexes me though is the "love fest " at the white house today with apparently all republicans. That almost made me throw up! Add the defence from some rep's on news reports and the all out assault on Mueller because of texts some FBI agent sent. There is nothing so far that was texted that comes close to what the republicans were saying about him (whom I don't speak his name) a year ago. Alarmingly; I am now thinking that the RNC was compromised as well by the Russian coup. Why else would any breathing/cognisant human being get on Fox views and defend this administration and try and trash the FBI? I hope I am terribly incorrect but; occams razor! Why else? Appears the tentacles went much farther than the whitehouse........

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

Bachmann: Westminster is about 100% Kochpublican?? That explains why your community thinks two monopoly capitalist corps. constitutes competition.

MaxM 5 years 23 weeks ago

You ask what I think. I think it is incorrect and misleading to characterize the Koch Bros. motivation for opposing a public project like municipal broadband as having anything to do emotions like "hate". Those guys are libertarian capitalists and they oppose, in principle, any expansion of government or public ownership. They are striving to reduce the role of government as much as possible. They believe everything should be in private hands. They are also quite greedy. They have the resources to pursue a program of killing government and promoting capitalism in every societal institution.

People need to know that they should oppose the Kochs and their ilk because they are extremely dangerous to democracy, not because they hate stuff.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

deepspace: The Fascists have rigged our economy for a collaspe that will be extremely hard to recover from. They've cut taxes for the billionaires during a time when those same elites are already awash in what Thom calls "morbid wealth" and income. This along with historically low fed rates and an inflated 1929 type stock market is a recipe for a Great Depression. The Fed will be powerless to stimulate because there is no room to drop rates ......and how do you raise taxes during an economic collapse?

In fact I believe the tax bill scam got rammed through totally because of the stock market...collapse would have been instant otherwise. The Kochbaggers just bought a little more time and distance from inevitable blame when the wheels come off.

I've noticed the corpse media is finally telling the truth about the plan after the fact, they didn't want to end the 1929 fraud either....again it had to pass or the house of cards market would have collapsed.

Is it all part of a plan to kill representative democracy via desperation and chaos?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

The Koch Brothers think their wealth equals immortality. They, just like all of us, are only a blink of the eye when considering the planet is already 4.54 billion years old. The problem is, their blink is at the same time as ours.... why do we allow a handful of people like them make our blink experience so miserable???? We have the power to stop them anytime we your history.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 5 years 23 weeks ago

Yes we do; 2950-10K. Just stop consuming except for sustinance. No newest phone, etc......and grow a garden this spring.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 23 weeks ago

In view of all the extensive historical evidence, we must assume that the fascists in power, albeit corrupt as hell, are not stupid. They know fully well where their legislation will lead, but are cynical enough not to care as long as they get theirs. Besides, the ultra wealthy donor class never suffers like the rest of us during a downturn, and their fruit-fly politicians coming and going will always land cushy consultant jobs once their pissed-off constituents vote the bums out. Life is good either way ...for those responsible and unaccountable who live the life of Medieval nobility. Not so much for the expendable proletariat.

Here's one way to revolt: cheat on your taxes just like the big boys do with their high-paid accountants and attorneys. And since the Republican budget will naturally call for slashing IRS funding, statistically there won't be the resources to catch you.

Screw good faith and patriotism! Starve the beast! Trump, McTurtle, Ryan, and the Koch machine have shown us the way.

But damn, then how will we pay for all the Evil Empire's foreign wars?

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 5 years 23 weeks ago

It's never about making people's life easier, less complicated, more joyful, or pleasant. It 's the never-ending scheming of making money and making people miserable.. I'm almost convinced of this hatred of people who are lesser financially endowed.. Seems so sad, life has to be this way, the whole world is ends up being one big jail with endless toil.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

deepspace,Oldskold: I'm on board with your battle tactics...already cut and burn my own firewood, have solar, fruit trees etc....anything I can do to fight back. Regarding deepspace's comment. My lawyer has told me the IRS can't even figure out their own tax code and he wasn't joking..just saying.

BTW: The tax bill is violent....meaning it will kill people, just in a more discrete manner than bloody warfare. Why do protesters face 70 years in jail for breaking a window, yet fascists and their servants like Senator Collins are allowed to get away with indirect murder????...not to mention all the domestic misery and violence their legislation will foment.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 23 weeks ago

The good news,

It's still up and running and malcontent leftie/socialists continue to provide their daily Christmas humor to the sane among us.

The bad news,

It's still up and running.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 23 weeks ago

@13 Diane :

We won't have to tweak these crazies for a few months just sit back and enjoy. Merry Christmas for the real Christmas.

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 5 years 23 weeks ago

What is the real Christmas? This secular, agnostic, jewish carpeter has been pondering this question for 58 years. Could you please get that Kosher dog out of your mouth and explain the "real" meaning to me...Please!

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 23 weeks ago

@18 Lisse :

You did say please, do I'll give you a partial answer. It's an inside joke for the sane among us. Attend some anger management classes and get over the better than you attitude and I'll let you in on the joke.

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 5 years 23 weeks ago


Us and them.
And after all we're only ordinary men (and women).
Black and blue.
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
And in the end its only round and round.
Down and out.
It cant be helped that there's a lot of it about.
And who'll deny its what the fighting is all about...

Im really not angry.. Just sad that we've all done this to ourselves.
There really is no us and them...
Theres just all of us!

Happy holidays.
And salad days.
And days of moldy mayonnaise...

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

Bachmann: Are you really sucking off the taxpayer's tit as a public employee while simultaneously posting mind numbing alt reality crap??? So you make your living as a Socialist, but claim to be a, keep government out of my way, Koch idiot? I'm sure in your foxmerized little mind you see no hypocrisy with this. Why don't you live up to your rhetoric and beg for a job at Walmart?'s citizens like you that have brought this country to the hell we're in....and you're still clueless.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago

I notice Bachmann and Diane never talk about meaningful issues, they avoid all that is related to their Kochbagger Party legislation .....are they ashamed? Merry Christmas? Really? Tell that to those who have a grasp on reality.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 5 years 23 weeks ago

@20 & 21 I don't waste my time talking to stupid people.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 23 weeks ago
#23're really pathetic and have a lot of nerve posting the crap you do on Thom's blog. Take about stupid! Post something with substance and prove to me you're not a complete foxmerized fool.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 23 weeks ago

It begs the question, are Trump trolls celebrating Christ this season or the troll responsible for his capture? After all, Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver too.

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